April 1, 2022
CAFRE Beef Grassland Technology Demonstration Farmer (TDF) Brian Cromie from Banbridge, Co Down recently welcomed a group of Camlough beef farmers to his farm where he got the chance to explain many aspects of how he farms including grassland management.
Brian runs two enterprises on his 105 hectare farm; 160 dairy origin beef cattle and 450 ewes plus 150 ewe lambs tupped each year. Purchased calves are mainly Aberdeen Angus, Hereford and Belgian Blue crosses and are finished off grass at approximately 24 months of age. Brian operates a rotational paddock grazing system, using both permanent and temporary fencing, with groups being moved every three days. Grass growth is monitored weekly using a platemeter and computer software.
Brian said “I decided to go in a new direction a short time ago when we introduced the dairy origin calf to beef system to our farm. I did this for both economic reasons and also for a better work life balance. While it has involved some adjustment I am really pleased with the progress to date and the calf to beef system fits in well with the sheep enterprise on the farm.
In addition to beef and sheep I am also passionate about grassland farming and have been able to increase stocking and profitability rates significantly over the past number of years as a result of producing and utilising more grass. I am also excited about being a TDF grassland management farmer as I really enjoy hosting groups of farmers including the recent group from Camlough. I am looking forward to having other groups of farmers visit my farm in the year ahead”.
The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and the European Union fund the Business Development Groups Scheme and the establishment of Technology Demonstration Farms across Northern Ireland under the Innovation Technology Evaluation Demonstration (ITED) Scheme, as part of the Rural Development Programme.